Simple. Because we’re broken too.
That’s all life is really. One chaotic mess, all of us scrambling to fit in, to fill our holes, to find someone who gets us. The goal in life isn’t to find happiness, it’s to find ourselves—the pieces of which have been flung all over this world. Glinting there in someone’s smile, steaming in that first bite, scattered along a road you’ve never traveled before.
We find these pieces of ourselves in people, in places, in tastes and smells and the things that abandon sensory explanation. They are in the invisible. They are in the every day. Life is about gathering these pieces and keeping them safe. Life is about connections. Because without them we’re all just floating, waiting to be tethered to something.
And when you read a great book, one with characters as tactile as the face in your bathroom mirror, one whose words are so true they leave a familiar taste on the tip of your tongue, that’s what it feels like. It feels like you’ve been tethered to something and it’s been tethered to you. It feels like you belong.
People write for all kinds of different reasons. To make the world a better place. To provide people with an escape. But, for some reason, I don’t think about those things. Not because it wouldn’t be nice to make the world a better place or to entertain someone long enough to forget about whatever they’ve been going through. But because that’s not what keeps me up at night when I’m lying in bed, desperately trying to answer the why. Even though the answer is usually always the same. Why am I writing this? Why do I write at all? Because when I do I don’t feel so alone and when people read my books I hope that’s how they feel too.
We cling to characters who are broken because they remind us that we are not alone. And when those characters—who we’ve come to recognize as one of those pieces of us flung out into the world; scattered in the pages of a book written by someone we’ve never met—find what they’ve been looking for, part of us feels found too.